Manchester United missed out on signing Erling Braut Haaland for just £3 million plus add-ons from Molde due to a mix-up in the European time zones, The Mirror reports.
Haaland is regarded as one of the world’s best young strikers and he has excelled for Borussia Dortmund this term with 27 goals and eight assists from only 26 games.
He joined the club from Red Bull Salzburg in January last year after they triggered the £17.1m buy-out clause in his contract, but United could have signed him prior to that.
It is reported that United were keen on securing his signature in the summer of 2018 when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was still managing him at Molde.
United had planned a meeting with Haaland’s agent Jim Solbakken at 9.00 am (unmentioned date), but a confusion in the European time zones scuppered the deal.
Molde had imagined that the talks were due at 9.00 am Scandinavian time rather than British Standard time which is one hour behind.
By the time a Red Devils representative made contact, Salzburg had already agreed a deal worth £3m plus add-ons for the striker.
The story comes as a huge surprise but a section of the United fans will be disappointed if the club missed out on signing Haaland due to this.
Haaland is currently one of Europe’s most-wanted strikers and he is being closely watched by several elite clubs including arch-rivals Manchester City.
His present deal with Dortmund has a release clause worth £68m which becomes active in June next year but there are suggestions that they could sell him prior to that.
The Bundesliga outfit will reportedly demand up to £150m for the 20-year-old this summer which is a staggering 50 times the figure United could have signed him for in 2019.
United still require a genuine goalscorer to lead the line and it remains to be seen whether they will compete with their European rivals for his signature.
On top of the transfer fee, it is reported that Haaland may demand around £300,000-a-week in basic wages, should he join a new club later this year.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com